AI: Sleepless Nights vs. Getting Into Action

Pew research reveals a startling 80% non-use of AI among people. Embracing AI, despite fears, is crucial for remaining competitive in today's world.
Daan van Rossum
Daan van Rossum
Founder & CEO, FlexOS
I founded FlexOS because I believe in a happier future of work. I write and host "Future Work," I'm a 2024 LinkedIn Top Voice, and was featured in the NYT, HBR, Economist, CNBC, Insider, and FastCo.
April 11, 2024
min read

In his new book Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI, Wharton AI professor Ethan Mollick says everyone will have three sleepless nights because of AI.

“The cost of really getting to know AI is at least three sleepless nights. After a few hours of using AI systems, there will come a moment when you’ll realize that Large Language Models don’t act like you’d expect a computer to act. Instead, they act more like a person. It dawns on you that you’re interacting with something alien and that things are about to change in fundamental ways.” – Ethan Mollick.

He describes how, once people see what AI can do, they feel an equal mix of excitement and fear: “Wow, it can do so much.” 

The fearful side reminds me of what Alex Samuel shared in our interview late last year.

“At the pace, things are evolving, I'm not very confident that there's anything humans can do that people are going to continue to want to pay for except possible things that are physical.” - Alexandra Samuel

But sticking our heads in the sand is not an option. Every day we don’t embrace AI, we widen the gap between us and other people who are actively supercharging themselves with AI.

This thinking was the throughline of our AI for Work Top 100 Launch Event

Together, these tools generate 2.9 billion visits per month, with 97 of the Top 100 AI for Work tools registering over a million monthly visits. Almost every common workflow now has one or more AI tools covering it.

But concerningly, recent Pew research shows that only 23% of all US adults have used ChatGPT. This means that almost 80% of people are not using AI yet. 

This is staggering, as people without AI will get left behind. Imagine surviving in an organization or trying to find a new job without being able to use a computer. That’s simply not happening.

Older generations are especially at risk of being left behind. According to our study, 71% of Millennials and Gen Z knowledge workers use AI across many popular programs. But the older people get, the less likely they are to use AI.  

So, I’ll say it again: “An AI won’t take your job, but someone with a team of AI agents and tools will.”


Creating Your AI Team

As a leader, you know how to map the jobs, create roles around them, and hire the best candidate.

You need to do this again, but now for AI. 

So, where do you start creating a team of AIs? 

Step 1: The Problem

As KD Deshpande, founder and CEO of Simplified, said during our launch event, “The best place to start about which tools to use is finding out which key problems you have.” 

Where are you wasting the most time?

Where are you and your team doing work that AI can easily do? 

Think of anything structured, repeatable, and predictable, as Antony Slumbers shared on our podcast.

As we’ll discuss in our upcoming (free!) Lead With AI webinar and course, the most practical applications for leaders are AI as a co-creator, thinking partner, executive assistant, and time management coach. 

Before embracing AI, my main challenges were managing my time and being too reliant on other people for work that I needed to do urgently. 

Step 2: Find the right platform

Once you’ve mapped out your key AI opportunities, find a platform that could help. 

Our AI for Work Top 100 is a good starting place. You can also review our in-depth guides for AI Recruiting Software, AI Accounting Tools, AI Marketing Tools, AI Productivity Tools, and other AI Websites

KD reminded us that scanning for opportunities to bundle multiple workflows into one platform could be beneficial. 

For example, if you use AI for writing and image generation, choosing Canva Magic Studio or his Simplified as your one-stop shop for all AI needs will reduce cost and boost effectiveness, especially since AI gets better with each bit of data you provide.

To address my issues, I adopted:

Step 3: Test and Expand

Then, test and learn. Get intimately familiar with the platforms you’re using.

Additionally, continue to scan for opportunities to embrace AI more. As AI continues to expand, new features and platforms are always available.

For example, Google just launched a new Generative AI video tool called Google Vids, which may sway Google Workspace users to embrace AI video, where solo vendors previously couldn’t 

Stay in close touch with communities, exchanging tips on using AI and which tools are recommended by peers. (Our Lead With AI course will give you a year-long access to our community of C-Suites using AI.)

To find new AI tools, I love my colleague Evelyn’s newsletter “Stay Ahead,” which has multiple well-curated AI tools for professionals. 

The Bottom Line: AI and Sleepless Nights

The notion that AI is on its way to becoming so powerful that it could take over most jobs and lead us to a three-day workweek or, frighteningly, completely post-labor economics, could understandably lead to some sleepless nights.

My course of action is to turn that anxiety into action by getting as close to AI as possible, making it my daily co-pilot. 

I advise everyone else, especially at the top, to do the same. 

If you become AI-fueled today, you, your job, your team, and your company have infinitely higher chances of thriving.


You Might Also Like …

All articles about

Future Work

A weekly column and podcast on the remote, hybrid, and AI-driven future of work. By FlexOS founder Daan van Rossum.